Rigging is the Unsung Hero of Character Animation, and this course is designed to teach you how to rig almost ANYTHING in After Effects.
Registration is Open
If you’re working in 2D or 3D animation software, great character animation also takes something else: a well-built rig. Rigging Academy is designed to teach you how to rig almost ANYTHING in After Effects. In this course you’ll learn core rigging principles that can be applied to humans, animals, aliens, robots, cartoon characters, and just about any other type of creature you can think up. Once you know the basics you’ll be ready to handle rigging characters of all shapes, sizes, and styles. You’ll be well prepared to tackle the most challenging characters to rig, and have the skills to troubleshoot technical problems that may come up along the way.
Morgan has been a professional animator and animation director for over 20 years. He has created work for numerous clients including Sony Pictures, the BBC, Comedy Central, and WGBH Boston and have been the recipient of several awards including a local ADDY®, a Telly, and a Best in Show award at Minnesota Siggraph. His short film work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Philadelphia International Film Festival and the Annecy International Animation Festival. Morgan is a Certified Duik Instructor and a full time faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design teaching and developing curriculum in the Department of Motion Design.
Rigging for Rookies: Start by getting the lay of the land. Learning some rigging basics, make sure your tools are set up properly, and dive into your first lesson. Why do we even need rigs in the first place? You’ll know soon enough.
Character Construction: Before you can rig anything, your character’s artwork has to be prepped. How this is done depends on the character design, and there are many ways to skin this cat. You’ll learn just about all of them in this section.
Arms to Hold You: You’ll learn more about arms than you ever thought possible. In this section we go into jointed arms, puppet tool arms, and even combination arms and blended joints. You’ll have an arsenal of arm options at your disposal soon enough.
Good Crafting: What good are arms without hands? As with any rigging task, there are options here. You’ll learn how to build mechanical hands (hands that actually animate) as well as how to make replacement hands which are easier to implement.
A Firm Footing: Time to rig the legs. Legs are like arms with feet on the end, and feet can be tricky. Find out how to make everything work correctly and add some controls for things like heel and toe rolls. Break a leg.
Core Training: Rigs often neglect the stomach, chest, and shoulders of a character. Learn a bit of basic anatomy and set up controls that will give your character a much greater range of movement and emotion. Don’t neglect the abs.
The eyes are the window to the soul, especially in character animation. Learn how to build a face rig that will give you the control you need to emote with your character.
Limbs Unlimited: Now we start getting fancy. Find out how to add and work with props, how to deal with level-swapping, and how to utilize a handy feature called rotation morphing.
Running on All Fours: You’ve mastered the art of the biped, now let's take a look at rigging our four legged friends. You’ll learn about some very important differences in rigging creatures that get around on four legs instead of two, and be able to rig up a tail by the end of this lesson
Full Speed Ahead: Once you’re done rigging your characters it’s time to get them ready for animation. We'll go over some very important house cleaning steps so you can tidy up those project files to make things as easy as possible for the animators on the job.
Our student community is welcoming, diverse, and growing rapidly.
Who's Rigging Academy for?
Rigging Academy is a somewhat advanced class, and we have a few suggestions that would make your time learning a lot easier. Let's dig in to what those are:
We highly suggest that you learn how to animate characters before attempting to rig them. In Character Animation Bootcamp you will be given pre-built characters to learn how to animate with. This may seem like a backwards approach, but understanding how to use your rig and what's possible will help you know what to build.
Experience with Character Animation
If you've been animating characters, or have finished up Character Animation Bootcamp, this course is a great way to achieve the next level of character animations. Simply knowing what a character should (and can) do will inform what you need to build. If you've been animating walk cycles for bipeds, but you want to learn how to build out quadrupeds, this course can help you achieve that dream.
Common Pain Points
If you checked yes to any of the questions above, Rigging Academy might be the course you've been looking for!
Rigging Academy Summary
Rigging Academy is for people who want to learn how to make their character artwork animation-ready. You probably have some knowledge of character animation already, and maybe you been using RubberHose or puppet pins to make characters move. Now you're ready to learn how to create flexible, in-depth rigs using Duik Bassel to make those character animation options even more robust.
Rigging Academy is an instant access course and can be tough to determine how many hours you will spend taking this course. If you spent about 15 hours a week working through the material, you could expect to complete alal the lessons and practice in abaout 6-9 weweks. This will vary from person to person, depending on how easily you grasp specific concepts. Altogether you will likely spend around 135 hours working on Rigging Academy lessons and projects.
In this course we break down what a rig is, why you will need one and what makes a good rig. Rigging Academy will equip you with everything you need to know about characters made in both Photoshop and Illustrator, and what to watch out for when you're getting ready to rig.
As you know, when it comes to building a rig there are many options to choose from! Whether it's choosing between a jointed rig, a puppet pin style rig, and much more. We'll see how each option can be rigged and which character designs are better suited for each option.
Understanding these options can open up a lot of animation possibilities and add even more flexibility to your rigs.
What to Expect in Rigging Academy
Rigging up characters may seem like a magical lost art only known by a few, but let's dig a little deeper and help you know the level of difficulty you can expect.Not 'that' Hard.
Since you'll be following along and creating rigs, this is going to feel like follow the leader. If you do everything exactly the way Morgan teaches you'll be able to have a functional rig. The harder part is being able to understand why you need create a rig a certain way, and when to apply specific principles.
There's Tech-y Stuff in it.
There is a certain level of tech knowledge needed to work in After Effects. Rigging your own characters takes it to a whole new level. Along side using expressions and coding certain actions, there are several layers that are referencing one another on an impressively large scale. Keeping up with all of these layers and the amount of controllers will become a whole new skill.
Concepts can be a little tricky the first go around.
This is uncharted territory for most motion designers. You may have even dabbled with rigging, but your foundation is poor and now you need to rebuild that foundation. Rigging isn't the easiest process to tackle, and there are so many moving pieces that it can easily become overwhelming. You may even find yourself becoming lost in the massive amount of layers.
Eventually you'll have enough practice under your belt, and the process of rigging will become easier and easier. You'll stop forgetting important pieces that aren't so obvious to begin with.
After completing Rigging Academy you'll be able to tackle a large variety of tasks. Here's a breakdown of ways you can apply those skills.
You Can Rig Almost Anything
Rigging Academy covers several parts of the body. You will be able to rig hands, legs, mid-sections of the body, faces, and arms. Maybe you'll be able to build out that creepy baby doll with spider legs from Toy Story? Neat!
You Can Rig Characters in Any Art Style
The rigging insight you'll gain can be transferred through out into many different art styles. When you start to understand the mechanics of a rig, and why it needs to be put together in a certain fashion, you'll begin to dissect how it can be applied in many different art styles.
Bipeds and Quadrupeds
Quadrupeds can be a real challenge, they're fundamentally different than bipeds. In Rigging Academy you'll grow accustomed to animating different body types across the animal kingdom.